A recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center for People and the Press undoubtedly have people stomping—I mean, "dancing"—at the HQ of John "He's a Rebel" McCain. According to the survey, people—in the U.S., at least—are becoming more bullish on the progress in Iraq. Specifically:
"Military effort is going:
Very/fairly well: 48%
Not too/at all well: 48%
Don't know: 4%"
Those numbers compared with those of the same survey in February are quite different:
"Very/fairly well: 30%
Not too/at all well: 67%
Don't know: 3%"
One might argue that the huge jump (comparatively speaking, that it) in the number of those who Don't Know between February and November is most significant. Chances are, more people know who won this season's "Dancing With the Stars" despite profound unfamiliarity with open-wheel racing.
Another series of responses should be noted.
"The U.S. effort in Iraq:
Will succeed: 48%
Will fail: 46%
Don't know: 6%"
Here the differences between November's perceptions and February's are slight, with the chances of success up 1% since the earlier in the year, the notion of failure staying the same, and those who Don't Know going down one 1%. Could it be that some of those who Didn't Know now think success waits in the wings like Marie Osmond?
Finally, there is an assessment of how the Commander in Chief is doing. Things aren't going too swimmingly well for him.
Don't know: 11%"
In February those responses were:
Don't know: 11%"
Seems like there is a decided shift from the plus column to the minus. But that is a remarkable consistency to the Don't Knows.
The Pew survey also shows that vis-ŕ-vis economic conditions, the "Most important problem facing the nation" is Iraq, but a sizable margin: 32%, compared with the overall economy at 14% and healthcare and energy prices tied at 7%, with multitudinous other items below that (e.g., terrorism: 4%).
John McCain may be happy. But when the bills start coming due for all of the spending that has gone on in the effort to do something in Iraq (what is the "mission" nowadays, anyway, besides trying to make a subtle exit?), even those who Don't Know certainly will know what the consequences are.